Best Actors of All Time

by dolanwargin | created - 01 Sep 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

1. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is English, Dutch, German, French and Irish. He was trained at...

2. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor | The Master

Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ...

3. Joaquin Phoenix

Actor | Walk the Line

Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family in New York,...

4. Ryan Gosling

Actor | Blue Valentine

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is the first person born in the 1980s to have been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (for Half Nelson (2006)).

He was born Ryan Thomas Gosling on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a ...

5. Robert Downey Jr.

Actor | Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business.

Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and ...

6. Scarlett Johansson

Actress | Her

Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter ...

7. Amy Adams

Actress | Arrival

Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as ...

8. Colin Farrell

Actor | The Lobster

Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's biggest stars in Hollywood and abroad. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history.

Farrell was born on ...

9. Tom Cruise

Actor | Top Gun

In 1976, if you had told fourteen year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. ...

10. Matthew McConaughey

Actor | Dallas Buyers Club

American actor and producer Matthew David McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas. His mother, Mary Kathleen (McCabe), is a substitute school teacher originally from New Jersey. His father, James Donald McConaughey, was a Mississippi-born gas station owner who ran an oil pipe supply business. He is ...

11. Brad Pitt

Actor | Mr. & Mrs. Smith

An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven (...

12. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005),...

13. Sam Rockwell

Actor | Moon

Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the only child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents separated, at which ...

14. Matt Damon

Actor | Good Will Hunting

Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and ...

15. Gary Oldman

Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman is a talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his expressive acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), ...

16. Michael Stuhlbarg

Actor | A Serious Man

Michael Stewart Stuhlbarg was born in Long Beach, California. He attended UCLA, and then The Juilliard School in New York City, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. His other studies included time at the Vilnius Conservatory in Lithuania, the British American Drama Academy at Baliol and...

17. Tatiana Maslany

Actress | Stronger

Tatiana Gabrielle Maslany was born September 22, 1985 in Regina, Saskatchewan, to Renate, a translator, and Dan, a woodworker. She graduated from Dr. Martin LeBoldus High school in 2003. She was a well respected student, and participated as often as possible in school productions. She is well known...

18. Ryan Reynolds

Actor | Deadpool

Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the youngest of four children. His father, James Chester Reynolds, was a food wholesaler, and his mother, Tamara Lee "Tammy" (Stewart), worked as a retail-store saleswoman. He has Irish and Scottish ancestry. ...

19. Steve Carell

Actor | The Office

Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet Theresa (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother was of Polish descent and his father of Italian and ...

20. Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor | Nightcrawler

Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko (2001). His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from...

21. John Goodman

Actor | 10 Cloverfield Lane

John Stephen Goodman is a U.S. film, television, and stage actor. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman, and Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when John was a small child. He is of English, Welsh, and German ancestry. John is best ...

22. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

23. Bryan Cranston

Actor | Breaking Bad

Bryan Lee Cranston was born on March 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California, to Audrey Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joe Cranston, an actor and former amateur boxer. His maternal grandparents were German, and his father was of Irish, German, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. He was raised in the Canoga ...

24. Martin Freeman

Actor | Black Panther

Martin Freeman is an English actor, known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office (2001), Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock (2010) and Lester Nygaard in the dark ...

25. Jon Hamm

Actor | Mad Men

Jon Hamm was born on March 10, 1971 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Jonathan Daniel Hamm. He is an actor and producer, known for Mad Men (2007), The Town (2010) and Million Dollar Arm (2014).

26. Rachel McAdams

Actress | The Notebook

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...

27. Simon Pegg

Actor | Shaun of the Dead

English actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg was born Simon John Beckingham in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, to Gillian Rosemary (Smith), a civil servant, and John Henry Beckingham, a jazz musician. His parents divorced when Pegg was seven. He later took his stepfather's surname, "Pegg". He was ...

28. Ethan Hawke

Actor | Training Day

Ethan Green Hawke was born on November 6, 1970 in Austin, Texas, to Leslie Carole (Green), a charity worker, and James Steven Hawke, an insurance actuary. His parents were students at the University of Texas at the time but divorced when Ethan was 5 years old. His mother raised him alone for the ...

29. Michael Shannon

Actor | Midnight Special

Michael Corbett Shannon was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Geraldine Hine, a lawyer, and Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University. His grandfather was entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon.

Shannon began his professional stage career in Chicago. His ...

30. Jeremy Piven

Actor | Serendipity

Born in Manhattan and raised in Evanston, Illinois, he is an alumnus of the Piven Theatre Workshop founded by his parents (Byrne Piven and Joyce Hiller Piven) and a one time Chicago stage actor.

31. Benicio Del Toro

Actor | Sicario

Benicio Del Toro emerged in the mid-1990s as one of the most watchable and charismatic character actors to come along in years. A favorite of film buffs, Del Toro gained mainstream public attention as the conflicted but basically honest Mexican policeman in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000).

...

32. Emma Stone

Actress | La La Land

Emily Jean "Emma" Stone was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Krista (Yeager), a homemaker, and Jeffrey Charles Stone, a contracting company founder and CEO. She is of Swedish, German, and British Isles descent. Stone began acting as a child as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona...

33. Sharlto Copley

Actor | District 9

Sharlto Copley was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Linda Stocks and Bruce Copley, a former university professor. His childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content...

34. Hugh Jackman

Actor | Les Misérables

Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film ...

35. Paul Giamatti

Actor | Sideways

Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor (2003), Sideways (2004), and Barney's Version (2010) (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella ...

36. Sarah Paulson

Actress | 12 Years a Slave

Sarah Paulson was born on December 17, 1974 in Tampa, Florida, to Catharine Gordon (Dolcater) and Douglas Lyle Paulson II. She spent most of her early years in New York and Maine, before settling in Manhattan to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the High School for Performing Arts. ...

37. Mark Ruffalo

Actor | The Avengers

Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, ...

38. John Turturro

Actor | Barton Fink

Highly talented, lightly built American actor who always looks unsettled and jumpy has become a favourite of cult/arthouse film aficionados with his compelling performances in a broad range of cinematic vehicles.

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian-American parents, Katherine (...

39. Paul Dano

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Paul Dano was born on June 19, 1984 in New York City, New York, USA as Paul Franklin Dano. He is an actor, known for There Will Be Blood (2007), Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Love & Mercy (2014).

40. Andrew Garfield

Actor | The Social Network

Andrew Russell Garfield was born in Los Angeles, California, to a British-born mother, Lynn (Hillman), and an American-born father, Richard Garfield. When he was three, he moved to Surrey, U.K., with his parents and older brother. He is of English and Polish Jewish heritage. Andrew was raised in a ...

41. Ben Mendelsohn

Actor | Rogue One

Despite his prominence in Hollywood as a character actor known for playing villains and criminals, Ben Mendelsohn has been a leading man in Australia since starting acting as a teenager.

Paul Benjamin Mendelsohn was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Carole Ann (Ferguson), a nurse, and Frederick ...

42. Joel Edgerton

Actor | The Gift

Joel Edgerton was born on June 23, 1974 in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia, to Marianne (van Dort) and Michael Edgerton, who is a solicitor and property developer. His brother is filmmaker Nash Edgerton. His mother is a Dutch immigrant. Joel went to Hills Grammar School in the Western Suburbs...

43. Billy Crudup

Actor | Almost Famous

Known as much for his rigorous career choices as for his talent and chiseled good looks, Billy Crudup has been straddling the line between serious actor and "it" leading man for several years.

Crudup was born in 1968 in Manhasset, New York (a Long Island suburb), the middle child in a family of ...

44. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (pseudonym Nicholas Blake), Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and ...

45. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...

46. James Dean

Actor | East of Eden

James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...

47. Danny McBride

Actor | Pineapple Express

Danny McBride was born on December 29, 1976 in Statesboro, Georgia, USA as Daniel Richard McBride. He is an actor and writer, known for Pineapple Express (2008), Vice Principals (2016) and Up in the Air (2009). He has been married to Gia Ruiz since October 9, 2010. They have one child.

48. Jason Sudeikis

Actor | Colossal

Jason Sudeikis was born on September 18, 1975 in Fairfax, Virginia as Daniel Jason Sudeikis. His father is Daniel Joseph Sudeikis, a Vice President of a business development and his mother is Kathryn (née Wendt), a travel agent at Brennco and President of the American Society of Travel Agents. He ...



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